A diversity and inclusion survey conducted by the Edmonton diocese's Anti-Racism Team earlier this year shows that worship communities value making people feel welcome and included. The Ven. Jordan Haynie Ware, Archdeacon for Social Justice and Community Connection, says the team heard from across the diocese, from Westlock to Onoway to Edgerton, with a particularly strong response from the Church of the Nativity on Frog Lake First Nation.
"We learned from the survey that members of the diocese from all backgrounds value diversity and inclusion," she says. "We were also made aware of a large community of people with disabilities in our church who would like to be contacted for more conversation. It was an oversight to not include more than one question about the needs of people with disabilities, and we apologise."
Most respondents indicated they feel respected and valued by their parish leadership and fellow worshippers. There was a strong desire to include more Indigenous traditions and ways of worshipping. "The Frog Lake Nativity folks seem to be doing an excellent job of that!" In general, people stated they feel included by worshipping communities. Interestingly, many people said they don't think they have much in common with other Anglicans. "Is this something we have in common?" Haynie Ware asks.
Based on the comment box, becoming even more diverse and inclusive is of high importance to our community. The Anti-Racism Team is working with Bishop Steve and the Policy Committee to write a strategic plan that will help us meet this goal. "Thank you to all our respondents. We are so grateful to hear from you," says Haynie Ware.
Further comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.